Birmingham City Council

As part of the module Design Strategy and Innovation, MA Design Management students have worked with Birmingham City Council’s IT & Digital team on a live project brief.

The cohort of 14 strong and enthusiastic students presented how Birmingham City Council could enhance staff engagement in a hybrid working environment, producing some great ideas and accomplished presentations.

Ideas ranged from the use of emerging tech, gamification, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to creating sustainable working experiences. The underpinning of research and data in all the presentations was incredible. Each team articulated value propositions at multiple levels. Special consideration was taken towards co-creating the solutions with Birmingham City Council employees.

This project is a great example of relevant, practical experience that students get on the course and our continued work with local institutions and communities.

MA Design Management student, Meghana Navin, said: “Working for the industry brief on “Developing Strategies for Hybrid Work” for the Birmingham City Council was indeed a demanding yet constructive experience for the class. We had to split into teams to first break down the challenges and understand the problem space. Through user surveys and a co-creative workshop with the IT and Digital Team, we were able to gather a lot of insights and pain points faced by the employees through remote working.

“Some of us had to think of re-structuring and challenging the brief itself as we found how hybrid working worked better for most people than working on-site. We had effective team planning and management with course and module leaders trying to bring the best solutions together for the final pitch at the BCC headquarters. 

“We also had a field visit to the building at Woodcock street, where we were guided by the building manager and we were drawn in awe at the interior designing and floor planning. It further helped us build a better strategy to present our ideas focusing on bringing in sustainability and biophilic design as well. 

“Thanks to our tutors constantly collaborating with the management within Birmingham City Council, we pulled off a great presentation with teams winning Best Pitch and Best Idea followed by six students being selected for a Design Masterclass on Human Centred Design. Overall, we are extremely grateful for the experience we had with the Council through the Design, Strategy and Innovation module.”

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